Tour de Stage


Welcome to the TOUR DE STAGE

A stage is all about the excitement and stimulation of learning. It’s the thrill of walking into a new kitchen where you want to smell, taste, experience, listen, and touch. Everything is a novelty. Whether it’s a new ingredient or a different cut, a creative approach or a classically perfect technique, you are often thrown out of your comfort zone. The experience is fascinating but it’s also humbling and grounding.

Join us on our journey by following us as we stage in some of the most interesting restaurants across the country. We hope you’ll take some inspiration from what you see…as we are going to take inspiration in the doing.


Why are we staging across Mexico and the U.S.?

Both Laura and I live every day with the intention of absorbing as much knowledge as we can, so that we can master the craft. It’s curiosity that drives us both. It’s what we bonded over at the CIA and it’s what makes us who we are. We’ve just gotten married, and as a gift to ourselves we are staging in restaurants in every city that we travel to. It is the best way to learn about the regional cuisines of the country we have both come to call home. For us, there is no other way.

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Who we are

Laura Millan ’14 is from Acapulco, Mexico. She completed a BA in culinary arts at Centro Culinario Ambrosio (Mexico), earned a molecular gastronomy diploma at the Basque Culinary Center (Spain), and an AOS in culinary arts at The Culinary Institute of America. She has cooked in Mexico; at Mugaritz in San Sebastián, Spain; and at Café Boulud, Eleven Madison Park, and Del Posto, all in New York City.

Sayat Ozyilmaz ’14 is from Istanbul, Turkey. He completed a BA in economics and German studies at Dartmouth College and an AOS in culinary arts at the CIA. He was an analytics manager when he changed careers. Since then, he has cooked in Mumbai, India and Istanbul, Turkey; at Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Le Bernardin, both in New York. Sayat has a featured food blog on tumblr with more than 100k followers and he writes for, an industry insider restaurant review website.

For more food photos, adventures and stories from the travels, visit Sayat and Laura’s instagram at @LauraAndSayat.